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November 24, 2017, 10:03:18 PM *
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Simplicity Meets Complexity in Denk’s Piano Boot Camp

When NPR invaded Jeremy Denk’s home he was seriously practicing the piano etudes of György Ligeti. His music is “continuous madness,” Denk says. “Wonderful, joyful madness.” Denk has a great talent for making you fall in love with the most complex music, letting it sound completely natural. Read more >>

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Author Topic: I need help!!!!!  (Read 718 times)
rachmaninoff_forever
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« on: August 30, 2017, 01:26:53 PM »

Okay so in order to keep my fellowship they told me I had to do an ensemble.  So I emailed my teacher about this and he literally said "wind symphony needs pianists and I'm going to put you there"

...
...
...

sh*t!!!!!!!

Dude do they make you sightread in this kind of thing?  I've never played with a symphony or under an instrumental conductor before and I'm still a pretty bad sightreader.

Dude I'm so scared I'm gonna get exposed and embarrassed so bad
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stevensk
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 02:08:53 PM »

-What?? I would love to do that! IF you dont, skip it.
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 02:39:01 PM »

-What?? I would love to do that! IF you dont, skip it.

I have to do it or else I lose my fellowship
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outin
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 03:43:22 PM »


Dude I'm so scared I'm gonna get exposed

I thought you love to get exposed???

You're a tough one and been through worse I'm sure...so stop worrying and just do what you can Smiley
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 04:49:34 PM »


 been through worse

Now that you mention it I'm going to court on Friday got some sh*t that I didn't do.  They're trying to threaten me with a year in jail
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toughbo
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2017, 05:31:00 PM »

sh*t sight reader? What happened to this then?
https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=63732.msg677458#msg677458
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 06:41:37 PM »


I switched to doing all the Beethoven sonatas  Tongue
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iansinclair
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2017, 12:01:50 AM »

Now that you mention it I'm going to court on Friday got some sh*t that I didn't do.  They're trying to threaten me with a year in jail
Not good, man.  Tell us how it came out.
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Ian
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 04:45:19 PM »

I guess I'm thinking large ensemble here...

The music is waaaay easier for that stuff.  I'd guess 10% for some pieces compared to solo piano music.  And the piano can be used more as a percussion instrument.  Watching the director and getting that really precise 'percussion' timing is emphasized.

For that 10% that actually needs some work, you might just want to memorize those parts.  It's actually less work and easier to focus on the the conductor and rest of the group that way.  For this "10%" part, it might be something where you actually are playing a solo.

If you're the "pianist" for an ensemble, you might end up playing a synthesizer or celesta too.  (Get time on them for the feel for sure, esp. on a celesta.)

An unexpected challenge might be keeping your place during long, long rests.  I remember that being a challenge.  100 measures of rest?  Dang...  It's more mental effort than it sounds.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 08:06:54 PM »

I guess I'm thinking large ensemble here...

The music is waaaay easier for that stuff. .

I think so too, especially if there is more than one pianist.  Some of you are probably covering string chorus parts on a keyboard.

But while the music is easier, you may have had no experience following somebody else's tempos.  I think that's what will challenge you the most.  You are NOT a soloist; you don't get to decide where the beat is, ever. 

I recommend metronome practice.  That forces you to learn to follow an external beat. 
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Tim
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 11:01:50 PM »

Octaves too.   Octaves everywhere....


The conductor is always right, even when they're wrong.
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 02:25:45 AM »

I think so too, especially if there is more than one pianist.  Some of you are probably covering string chorus parts on a keyboard.

But while the music is easier, you may have had no experience following somebody else's tempos.  I think that's what will challenge you the most.  You are NOT a soloist; you don't get to decide where the beat is, ever. 

I recommend metronome practice.  That forces you to learn to follow an external beat. 

I sang in a choir but it's weird for me following someone who has a baton in their hand I'm always too early
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immisk
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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2017, 08:37:29 PM »

So what happened? With your court? And with the ensemble?

If you haven't already started accompanying, I suggest you go down there and watch someone else do it to get some perspective. Accompanying is something you only learn with experience.
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 11:11:51 PM »

So what happened? With your court? And with the ensemble?

If you haven't already started accompanying, I suggest you go down there and watch someone else do it to get some perspective. Accompanying is something you only learn with experience.

So they gave me a maslanka symphony to learn in a day and the first rehearsal was a train wreck it was so EMBARASSING!!!!

I got the hang of it though cause I spend the whole week learning my part and spent zero time looking at actual repertoire I wanted to learn for my lessons.

As for the court thing, the cop didn't even show up but I got 4 months court supervision and had to pay 578 total for court fees and lawyer fees
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mjames
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 11:26:31 PM »

Now that you mention it I'm going to court on Friday got some sh*t that I didn't do.  They're trying to threaten me with a year in jail

Tell me about it. Awhile back I was walking back from piano practice to head over to a friend's place and got arrested for sexual assault. Like I was literally stopped, handcuffed, and spent a few hours in a shitty cell. Apparently an "African American wearing blue jeans" assaulted some woman a few blocks away from campus and I fit the profile...no sh*t.

I really don't like American cops.
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 04:10:03 AM »

Tell me about it. Awhile back I was walking back from piano practice to head over to a friend's place and got arrested for sexual assault. Like I was literally stopped, handcuffed, and spent a few hours in a shitty cell. Apparently an "African American wearing blue jeans" assaulted some woman a few blocks away from campus and I fit the profile...no sh*t.

I really don't like American cops.

but of course that's just a coincidence and it has nothing to do with race  Roll Eyes Angry

I was in a similar situation where I read my school alert email and I fit the description and I had to run home cause the police were around the corner lol
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danielo
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 08:50:56 PM »

Jesus. Even pianists aren't immune from racist arrests by dumb cops..........I'm not black but still grateful I don't live in a country that treats minority races that badly.
As for the ensemble stuff, you could see it as a move by someone who wants you out and is putting you in a deliberately stressful situation, or as an opportunity to force yourself out of your comfort zone and do something you aren't used to, and it would make you a better and more rounded pianist in the process.
I know I would hate doing ensemble stuff just because like you, I'm absolutely not used to it, but if you could pull it off, it would give you so much confidence for the future.

Good luck!  Wink Smiley
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rachmaninoff_forever
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 07:18:15 PM »

Jesus. Even pianists aren't immune from racist arrests by dumb cops..........I'm not black but still grateful I don't live in a country that treats minority races that badly.
As for the ensemble stuff, you could see it as a move by someone who wants you out and is putting you in a deliberately stressful situation, or as an opportunity to force yourself out of your comfort zone and do something you aren't used to, and it would make you a better and more rounded pianist in the process.
I know I would hate doing ensemble stuff just because like you, I'm absolutely not used to it, but if you could pull it off, it would give you so much confidence for the future.

Good luck!  Wink Smiley

Yeah dude the first few rehearsals sucked but I got the hang of it.  I still for the life of me can't play exactly on time with everyone else.  Everyone comes in way late after the conductor idk why
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Bob
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« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 08:16:09 AM »

You're probably sitting in the back with the percussion.  Distance starts to really matter.  Sounds travels slower than light.  The larger the distance, the more that comes into play.

Watch the conductor.  Don't listen to everyone else as much.  Use the light as your cue to come in, not so much the sound of those around you.

Then play toward the front of the beat.  You'll see (hear?  or become aware) the lower pitched instruments in the back doing this.  Your sound also has to travel from you up to the conductor, so if you play ever so slightly ahead of the beat, it can line up with the people in the front of the group.

The more you think about it, the more you're aware of it, the more it will really start messing with your mind for perception of sound, time, light, etc.



Rereading... If everyone else is coming in late though... Hm.  Maybe they're not doing this.  I was assuming the group was good and you were on the low end.  Maybe it's the other way around.  In that case, I'd stick with whatever the group is doing.  Blend with them.  It's up to the conductor to control the whole group, so if everyone's a little off, it's their fault, their responsibility to fix (or not).  Some don't care, don't realize it, don't know how to fix it.  Some don't bother with it and expect the group to fix that themselves though too.
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timothy42b
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« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 07:56:54 PM »

I have found the opposite problem with a new conductor.

Some of them (orchestral and vocal, mostly, have never seen this in wind ensemble) direct behind or in front of the group beat.  I prefer to play exactly on the conductor's beat, but with some groups that means I'll be the only one wrong.  I think you have to do both: watch the conductor, listen to the ensemble.  With a new choir conductor this year I was singing on his beat, but he didn't intend that, and accused me of rushing.  I had to adjust to him. 

With piano, the note starts immediately.  That isn't necessarily true of other instruments, where there may be a short attack period while the tone swells to full volume.

Then there are idiomatic timing issues where you just have to listen to an experienced player until you get it.  Everybody knows beat 2 in a Viennese waltz must be played ahead of the beat, but exactly how much?  If you didn't grow up doing it you need maximum alertness.  Same thing with swung eighth notes, which are swung a different amount in different time periods or tempos.   
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Tim
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